Spring has well and truly sprung and the Easter holidays are just around the corner, so take a hop, skip and a jump into our Easter blog! Get out and into the green, go undercover, get wet, stay dry – we hope we’ve thought of everything!

First things first…

  • Use your Compass Card. Don’t be the person kicking yourself on the way out of a Compass Card venue because – a. you didn’t know there was a discount, or b. you knew there was a discount, but forgot to pack the Compass Card.
  • The Compass Card website means you can plan in advance if you want to (head to the offers page and search, filter and map to your hearts content) or use the free Compass Card app if you’re on the move. If you haven’t got it yet, search ‘compass card’ in the App Store or Google Play and download the Brighton and Hove or the West Sussex version.
  • Most of the time, Compass Card offers work without a hitch, but if a member of staff doesn’t know about an offer, show them their listing on the Compass Card app – and if that doesn’t work, let the Compass Team at Amaze know and we’ll sort things out. Contact us via the feedback page, email compass@amazebrighton.org.uk, or call us on 0300 123 9186.
  • Check out the Compass Card news and events page. It’s rammed with leisure news, so you’ll find plenty of information about events over Easter.
  • Drop into your local library. They’ll have a good idea about what’s on locally – and you can stock up on free DVD, CD and audiobook loans while you’re there if you’re a library member. West Sussex libraries are holding their own events over the Easter break too, read more here

Easter egg alternatives

If your child can’t eat Easter eggs, you can be driven mad by shops chock-a-block with chocolate treats Lots of colourful, decorative eggs.and eggs at this time of year. Maybe they’re on a restricted diet, perhaps they are gastrostomy or NG tube fed, or perhaps they have specific food intolerance. So what can you do to have fun at Easter without eating a ton of chocolate? Here’s our Compass Card top 5:

1. Have a treasure hunt using decorative eggs and when you’ve found them all, hang them from an Easter tree using twigs from the garden
2. Dress in Easter yellow for the day
3. Go savoury – how about scotch eggs, French toast or eggy bread?Scotch egg cut in half.
4. Paint your own Easter eggs. If you think using real eggs could be tricky, you could use papier mache eggs. You can make your own, or buy them in craft shops or on the internet if you can’t bear the faff. Or you could make Easter ‘cress heads’; chop the top off an egg, empty out and clean the shell. Put a damp piece of cotton wool in the bottom and sprinkle on some cress seeds. Draw a funny face on the shell and wait for the mop of cress hair!
5. Hold a family Easter quiz with Easter-related questions

Whatever you do, the important thing is to have fun! Don’t worry about what’s traditional – make your own traditions and enjoy!

Let’s get physical

Learn to Kayak. Here’s the perfect opportunity for your Compass Card holder to learn to kayak on Kingston Beach in Shoreham (next to the Lifeboat Station) with a coach who understands children and young people with additional needs. Rob Leatham, a level 2 coach who runs Brighton Kayak Experience, is one of our newest Compass Card partners and to celebrate, he’s running two discounted Compass Card Paddlesport Tasters over the Easter break. You can book an hour of one-to-one coaching for £30 Boy in kayak.between 10am and 4pm on Easter Bank Holiday Monday 17 April, or Tuesday 18 April – and if it goes well, you can sign up for a regular session (discounted by 10% for Compass Card holders and a carer goes free). Parent carers must stay on the beach (or in the water!) throughout the hour. Boats, paddles and safety equipment are provided – just bring a towel and stuff to wear you don’t mind getting wet. For more information and a kit list, visit www.brightonkayakexperience.co.uk You can also call Rob on 07906 075172 if you want to discuss your child’s needs. Check out the offers page or look at the Brighton Kayak Experience app listing for more information on the new Compass Card deal.

Fancy a round of golf? Our new offer with Brighton Junior Golf means the Compass Card holder gets a 20% discount on golf course family coaching (so the cost for an hour long lesson is £40 instead of £50). Run by PGA professionals Neil Plimmer and Nevil Perryman-Best, lessons are at Hollingbury and Boy blowing golf ball down hole.Waterhall golf courses. See the Compass Card app for full info. You can also visit www.brightonjuniorgolf.co.uk or call 01273 921135.

Free deaf sport for under 16s in Lancing. Albion in the Community has teamed up with Brighton and Hove Hockey Club and Sussex Cricket Foundation to offer a free coaching event on Tuesday 11 April from 10am to 1pm for players who are deaf or have a hearing impairment. The fun session, which is held at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre at 60 Mash Barn Lane Lancing BN15 9FP, will include football, hockey and cricket. For more information or to book a place, call 01273 668590 or email disability@albioninthecommunity.org.uk

Get out and about on a bike, no matter what your disability. Adapted bikes and tandem cycling means that just about anyone can get out and about outdoors on a bike. Sadly, Brooklands Pleasure Park in Lancing, which usually has adapted bikes for hire via We Cycle Too, is currently closed – but there are other options.

  • There’s a cycle hire facility at Alice Holt Forest near Farnham in Surrey with a great range of adapted bikes – and there’s a 25% discount for Compass Card holders too, which means hire costs just £6 for the card holder. Alice Holt Forest is at Bucks Horn Oak, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4LS. Mother and son on a tandem adapted bike.For more info, call 01420 521297 or visit http://www.leisurecentre.com/Cycling/alice-holt-cycle-centre
  • Charlotte’s Tandems is a national charity that hires out tandems and tag-alongs for free for use by disabled children, young people and adults. The charity usually hires out the bikes for two months at a time. For more info and to borrow a tandem contact Charlotte through the website: www.CharlottesTandems.co.uk
  • Wheels for Wellbeing Crawley has a full range of adapted bikes and there are regular drop-in sessions every other Saturday morning, starting on Saturday 22 April from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Just turn up, or for more information call the Crawley Wellbeing Team on 01293 585350 or email wheelsforwellbeing@crawley.gov.uk. There are also weekly Friday morning sessions from Friday 21 April for over 16s with learning disabilities. To book, call Out There on 01293 544733, Ian Burlinson on 07940 267355, or Crawley Wellbeing on 07973 480083. Sessions are usually at the Inclusive BMX Track, Cherry Lane, Langley Green, Crawley RH11 7NX (next to Cherry Lane Adventure Playground) and the cost is £4, including bikes and helmets.
  • Not one for the Easter holidays because it runs in term time, but don’t forget Horsham Wheels For All, which has a wide range of adapted cycles and meets at Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre on Fridays from 4.30 to 6pm from Friday 28 April. For more information or to book, call Paul Taylor on 07764 146339 or email paul.taylor@horsham.gov.uk
  • There’s a tandem group based in Leatherhead, Surrey for adults with a visual impairment. Run by Seeability in Epsom, the group meets on Friday afternoons at Seeability’s Millennium Centre in Leatherhead. The tandems are piloted by volunteers and visually impaired participants are in the ‘stoker’ position behind the pilot. For more info, call Clare Oades on 01372 389 414, or email Claire at c.oades@seeability.org

Climb higher in Brighton. High Sports in Brighton has climbing facilities and the organisation is Girl on indoor climbing wall.running a full range of Easter sessions for children, young people and families. Take a look at their special deals and bear in mind you can get a 10% discount on standard prices with a Compass Card. Find out more here or call 0345 363 1177 to book.

Want to try volleyball in Brighton? 5 to 16 year olds can book hour-long volleyball taster sessions at Yellowave in Brighton for £6 on Monday 10 and Friday 21 April (2 to 3pm for 5 to 7s, 3 to 4pm for 8 to 11s and 4 to 5pm for 12 to 16s). See here for more info and email info@yellowave.co.uk or call 01273 672222 to book.

Let’s go outside…

You won’t be bored in Borde Hill. There’s 200 acres of parkland and gardens at our new Compass Card Partner, Borde Hill Gardens just outside Haywards Heath. Add to that an adventure playground, picnic area, café and Easter activities in with the entrance price and it could be the perfect day out if the Picture of a fountain in a colourful garden with lots of bright coloured flowersweather holds out. Compass Card holders pay £4.50 and one carer goes free. Check the Borde Hill website for Easter activities, including a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, balloon modelling, face painting, Compass Card Partner Tom’s Talking Reptiles and fun with Potty the Pirate and Tomfoolery.

Alice Holt has it all. If you fancy a trip into Surrey, Alice Holt Forest is a great place to visit. Set in Forestry Commission woodland, it’s fully wheelchair accessible and has a Changing Places toilet. You can walk, cycle, play, have a picnic or visit the café and you’ll also find Alice Holt Cycle Centre here, with a full range of adapted bikes and a Compass Card discount – see above for more info. Alice Holt is at Bucks Horn Oak, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4LS.

Get eggy at Earnley. Earnley Butterflies, Birds & Beasts just outside Chichester is celebrating Easter with an Easter Egg Hunt over the Bank Holiday, Friday 14 to Monday 17 April, and there’s a boxed egg for each child taking part that’s all in with the entrance price. At Earnley, lots of things are undercover, so it’s a good bet if you’re not sure how the weather will turn out. There’s plenty of creatures to see, plus a picnic and play area, shop and café. The Compass Card gives you discounted entry for the card holder and one carer goes free. See the Earnley website for more info.

Fun on the farm at Godstone. From 1 and 17 April, Godstone Farm is offering bucket loads of Easter Close up of piglet.fun. Head on over to the farm to meet ‘Bubbles the Bunny’ and baby animals, take part in the ‘Capture the Carrot‘ quiz, have your face painted and plant a sunflower. As always one carer is admitted free of charge when accompanying a Compass Card holder.

Solve the Ferring Country Centre puzzle. The Easter Bunny has locked chocolate eggs in a chest at the Ferring Country Centre and hidden the key! The whole family must work together to find clues and solve the puzzles, before times runs out and the eggs are locked away for ever. Noooooooooooooo! Ferring Country Centre is offering discounted entry for Compass Card holders at the ‘Easter Eggsperience’, which runs from Thursday 13 to Saturday 15 April. Just head over to our news and events page for more details.

Easter and industry at Amberley. Industrial heritage is the theme at Amberley Museum on 36 acres of the South Downs, so if you like your outdoors served up with a big dollop of history, this could be the Steam train at Amberley Museum.place for you. There’s a narrow gauge railway and vintage bus service (opens on 23 April) as well as industrial exhibits like the Connected Earth Telecommunications Hall , the Milne Electricity Hall and the Printing Workshop. And there’s a couple of cafes too. There’s lots on over Easter – it’s ‘Spring Industrial Trains Day on Sunday 9 April for example, there’s an Easter trial with chocolate bunnies and there are bird of prey displays and sparkling electrical experiments at the Family Activity Days on Wednesday 12 April and Wednesday 19 April. There’s a discount for Compass Card holders at Amberley. For more info, visit the Amberley Museum website.

History and the big outdoors at Weald and Downland. Find out how people have lived and worked in the countryside over the last 950 years on a beautiful 40 acre downland site near Chichester at Weald and Downland Living Museum. There are 50 historic buildings to explore, woods, a café kiosk, free parking and some new spring lambs. You can expect plenty of Easter-y activities from Saturday 15 to Monday 17 April too and most are included in the regular admission price – including Easter cooking in Weald and Downloands Museumthe Tudor kitchen, egg painting, bonnet making and a traditional Easter Bonnet Parade on Easter Monday. Total entrance price for Compass Card holder and one carer is £10. For more info, visit the Weald and Downland website.

Meet a piglet. Aldingbourne Country Centre has a full range of Easter holiday activities planned, including a Piglet Day on Good Friday 14 April from 10am to 4pm. The pigs and their offspring will be in an enclosure and you’re invited to come and meet them. Piglet Day is just one of over a dozen holiday events; others include egg hunts, bonnet parades, donkey rides, and Reptile Days. There’s usually an additional charge for children for the activities (from £2 to £3.50). A carer gets free entry when the Compass Card is shown at Aldingbourne. You’ll find a list of Easter events here and you’re also advised to check out Aldingbourne’s Facebook page for Easter info.

Get down with the animals in Lewes. Spring Barn Farm Park is laying on a nature-focused Easter Chick on an open hand.for animal lovers. From Saturday 1 to Friday 21 April, you can have a ‘Meet the Chicks’ experience at Spring Barn at 10.15am and 4pm; meet the guinea pigs at 12.30pm, see a lamb bottle feeding demo at 10.45am, 1pm and 3.15pm and more – not to mention a Easter Egg Hunt in the Cock-a-Doodle-Den. For more info, see here  – and don’t forget your Compass Card discount!

Time to head indoors

Free Brighton drawing workshop for young people. Young people aged 13 to 19 (13 to 24 with additional needs) are invited to join a new, free ‘Experimental Drawing Workshop’ on Wednesday 12 Two coloured pencils and lots of pencil shavings.April at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery from 11am to 3.30pm and there’s a free lunch thrown in. No experience of drawing is needed. Young people will have the opportunity to explore the Museum’s Constable and Brighton exhibition, use unusual drawing materials, meet museum staff and learn new creative skills. The workshop is designed for young people who may not have visited the museum before and is targeted at young people who may be socially excluded. For more info, or to book, email sarah.pain@brighton-hove.gov.uk or call Sarah on 07833 483245.

So it’s raining? No problem! If you want to practise outdoor sports inside, it’s easy at SPORTS SIM in Crawley where we’ve just negotiated a 20% cashback deal for Compass Card holders on a full range of simulators including driving a racing car, putting, shooting, tennis and penalty shoot outs. Full prices are £20 per hour for up to two players, £30 per hour for up to 4 players and £60 per hour for up to eight players, but you’ll need to book at least two hours if you’re playing in a group of up to eight. There’s also a Easter special offer where you ‘buy one, get one free’, but you have to use your free quota during the holidays between 12 and 5pm and you can’t combine it with the Compass Card offer. SPORTS SIM is at 99 Finlay Court, Commonwealth Drive, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 1AJ. Call 01293 562462 or visit the SPORT SIM website.

A heap of theatres and cinemas. There’s loads of choice when it comes to theatres and cinemas and you can guarantee there will be plenty of family shows. At the Old Market in Hove, you can get a 15% Paddington Bear holding a small dog on some escalators.discount on all ‘Tom’s friends’ shows by using the promo code COMPASS (then you show the Compass Card on the day to validate the discount) – so if you fancy seeing a screening of ‘Paddington (PG) on Wednesday 12 April at 3pm, book now at www.theoldmarket.com One-off Compass Card theatre deals on specific shows will be publicised in the Compass Team e-newsletter, so make sure you check your inbox on Thursday evening. Other than that, it’s just a question of checking venues on the Compass Card app to see what on going deals are in place for Compass Card families.

Feeling spacey? The Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux is great for children and young people who enjoy spectacular hands-on science and there are some fabulous science-themed workshops Three girls at The Observatory Science Centre.during the holidays from 1 to 17 April. There’s free entry for a carer with a Compass Card holder and you pay extra for the workshops. Look out for the ‘Rocketry’ half day workshop on Tuesday 11 April from 10.30am to 1pm or 2 to 4.30pm for six to eight year olds. They’ll learn how such a huge rocket actually get off the ground, why it ‘breaks up’and where the astronauts sit, as well as building and launching their own water rocket. Cost for the workshop is £11.25 per child and you need to book by calling 01323 832731. Visit the Observatory Science Centre website for more info.